Collette Murray


Collette Murray is a dance performer, instructor, mentor and cultural arts programmer. She holds a Sociology BA from University of Toronto, Honours BA in Race, Ethnicity and Indigeneity, a certificate in Anti-Racist Research and Practice and is a MEd candidate at York University. Her performance background includes diverse genres across Caribbean folk, traditional West African drum/dance and other movements across the African diaspora. During her study abroad in South Africa and Costa Rica she taught dance workshops in the community, in schools and to educators. Engaged in the Caribbean and African arts community for over seventeen years, she continues to collaborate and train with master teachers abroad. In 2017, she performed in Senegal with Pape N’Diaye’s Les Enfant de Soleil. As former dance faculty and guest choreographer among many youth performance groups and community arts organizations, her mobile dance education business, misscocomurray.com, offers services that promote diasporic dances from the African, Caribbean and the Americas. This arts educator is also Artistic Director of Coco Collective, an intergenerational, multidisciplinary arts collective. She designs and delivers cultually-responsive projects that make cultural arts accessible to underserved communities. Murray supports Cultural Pluralism of the Arts Movement Ontario as a Research Assistant.




Collette Murray's Work

From Our Archives

Since 2003, Zab Maboungou has been racking up awards and accomplishments By Collette Murray

In our November 2003 issue, we featured Maboungou in a profile written by Bridget Cauthery.

On the Ground

Konversations on Colour: A Report

By Collette Murray

While anticipating a new decade of growth and possibilities, the dance community came to an unprecedented halt in March 2020. But under COVID-19 restrictions, an even greater emergence impacts the emotional well-being, spirits, safety and livelihoods of Black people: Anti-Black racism.

Sacred Rapport

By Collette Murray

As a Toronto-based dancer, teacher, choreographer and storyteller, Lua Shayenne is the founder and artistic director of Lua Shayenne Dance Company and Shayenne Productions.


Renaissance, Ritual and Passion

Toronto Dance Theatre’s Persefony Songs By Collette Murray

An inquisitive storyline begins as a pomegranate flips through the air. In response, the ensemble rises to engage in a syncopated choreographic trail.


The Roots and Realities of Colourism

Esie Mensah’s Shades: What is Colour? By Collette Murray

Rooted in the fractured phenomenon of shadeism or colourism, Shades: What is Colour? engages with the discrimination deeply embedded in global communities of colour.

Holla! Natasha Powell's Vernacular

By Collette Murray

As artistic director of Holla Jazz, Natasha Powell is informed by social dance and communal dance practices of African-American jazz, hip hop and house dance. But instead of replicating first-generation jazz or lindy hop, her movement style is an evolution of these forms.

Writers & Readers

Who Tells and Cries Our Freedom?

By Collette Murray

A student-choreographed routine included dancers wearing slave and master outfits and an attempted tribal dance in dashikis and coloured “Afro” wigs to disco movements. This was April 2018, and the performance held in Barrie, Ontario, sparked a controversial social media reaction on cultural ethics.


Fundamentals By Collette Murray

The directors of Nu-DanCe reimagine dance training


New Year, New Awakening

Soulful Messiah’s fifteenth year By Collette Murray

Ballet Creole opens the holidays by intersecting the Toronto theatre community and the NextSteps contemporary dance series with its annual seasonal ritual – Soulful Messiah. The performance is Artistic Director and Founder Patrick Parson’s choreographic concept of navigating different emotional stages of life and spirituality and how one copes through its peaks and valleys.